Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Shaking the Love Tree

When we were in the ICU with Simon, more times than I could count, people we'd never met did something nice for us. They had heard about us from friends, or friends of friends and decided to reach out. Sometimes it was food dropped off at the hospital, sometimes it was an email to tell us they had heard about Simon and were thinking about us, sometimes it was a hug on the street if they recognized us from our blog. These small, random acts of kindness began to knit a web that kept us suspended just out of the pit of despair when things were really bad.

There is a family in Australia that is in that hardest, darkest place right now.

A woman named Brooke, emailed me a few months ago after finding our blog. She has a little boy named Lachlan who has the same heart condition as Simon. When she first emailed me, she said, "We have been captivated with your blog ever since we stumbled across it a few weeks back. We've cried, laughed, but most of all we've related to almost very story told. Thank you for sharing your story. It really is like we are reading our own day to day life. I've even sent it to my family to read.....telling them to change the names to Lee, Brooke and Lachie, and it's us!!"

It was a very sweet message and we've stayed in touch, comparing notes, checking in, etc. Her story reminds me so much of our story with Simon and I feel a deep connection with this Mommy and her family, even though she's so far, far away in Australia.

Her little baby, Lachlan, is 10 months old, and has been pretty stable since he was diagnosed at 2 weeks old.

Until now.

About a month ago, Lachlan got very ill and has been in hospital since then. He seemed to be making good progress and got sent home but 8 hours later they were back in the ER and now he's back on life support.  The doctors don't really know what's going on.

My heart is *breaking* for this family. They were trucking along, just as we are, and now they're back in the pits of hell with machines and drips and lots and lots of unanswered questions. This could be us with the flick of a wrist.

This post is actually an ask.
I'm asking anyone who is reading this to mobilize all your friends to shake the love tree and bring them the spoils.

If you are in Sydney or know someone who is, and have love to spare, here's what you can do/bring to the Sydney Childrens Hospital in Randwick:

Cookies for them and for the staff (always helps to grease the wheels!). Make them a meal and leave it at the front desk (they have no dietary restrictions). A fruit basket. Trashy magazine. Warm cozy socks. Eye pillows. Books they can read to Lachlan, even while he's sedated. A mix CD. A snuggly something for Lachlan to have in his crib with him. A homemade card. A goofy postcard. Anything you can think of that would make them lift their head just enough to remember that they're not in there alone.
They may not be up to meeting you face to face, so it's probably best to see if you can drop things off at a front security desk - tell them it's for the Huslman family.

Let's shake this love tree, people.

p.s. you can follow their journey on Facebook by liking the page "Fight for Lachlan Hulsman".

UPDATE: August 19, 2011- Tragically, today the Hulsman family learned that Lachlan suffered severe brain damage as the result of cardiac arrest 6 weeks ago and made the decision to remove him from life support.  Our hearts are breaking for them...


Naemi said...

I was just saying I only have 4 more cards to write, now I know I'll be adding one to my pile for this family. I can't send them much else but it's a little something that will show them that they are loved.

Deborah said...

We are shakin' here in Vista, CA!!!

Oaktownmom said...

Your blog always moves me and provides me with incredible perspective, but this one in particular. I shook the love tree by posting a call on Facebook asking friends to pass this on to anyone they knew in Sydney (thinking nothing would come of it). I just got a message from a friend saing that her friend in Sydney just dropped off a bunch of stuff at the ER for them. Amazing! I hope it helps.